Princess Cut Diamonds
Maybe your girlfriend has subtly mentioned that she wants a princess cut diamond as the center stone of her engagement ring. Now what?! A princess cut… seriously, who does she think she is?! In order for you to be her Prince and not her Pauper, we had better help you a bit…
Princess cut diamonds are square in shape with pointed corners. They are members of the ‘brilliant cut’ family of diamonds along with rounds, cushions, pears, radiants, etc. Princess cut diamonds have gained popularity since the 1960’s as a distinctively-edged alternative to the popular round brilliant diamond.
As with any diamond shape, no two princess cut diamonds are truly created equal. The ideal shape for a princess cut should be very close to dead-square with a ratio no greater than 1.05 : 1.00. In regards to depth and table percentages for princess cut diamonds, they should ideally fall between 70-75%. Buyer should take special care that the culet (bottom point) on a princess cut is perfectly centered in order to maintain even brilliance and diminish the possibility of large ‘windows’ that can negatively impact the radiance and value of a diamond.
Crown angles, pavilion angles, polish and symmetry are also essential factors that affect the overall fire and brilliance of a properly cut princess cut diamond. Although some laboratories have begun to grade the overall cut grade of princess cuts, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has stated that there is still not enough empirical data to specify cut grade standards for princess cut diamonds.
Great care must also be taken when setting a princess cut diamond. The sharp corners of this brilliant shape are the susceptible to damage either while being set or from the pressures of everyday wear.
Princess cut diamonds are often slightly less expensive than round brilliants because cutting a square shape yields roughly 75% of the original rough material whereas a round brilliant only retains about 45%. This fact, when coupled with the tremendous brilliance emitted from a princess, makes it a favorite among diamond cutters worldwide. In order to ensure that your princess cut is properly cut (proper face size versus weight) be sure to work with a diamond house who can properly guide you to the selection of a truly beautiful stone.